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47 democrats national security case: Hong Kong activist Wong ji-yuet granted bail ahead of Christmas

Wong Ji-yuet is among 47 democrats facing a national security trial over a primary election last year. A total of 15 defendants have been granted bail. Others remain in custody, where they have been for close to 10 months.


09:00, 22 DECEMBER 2021

A Hong Kong activist accused of conspiring to subvert the government together with 46 other democrats and pro-democracy activists in connection with a primary election last July has been granted bail. She had been held behind bars for 10 months awaiting trial.

Wong Ji-yuet. Photo: via Twitter.

Wong Ji-yuet – former spokesperson for the disbanded student activist group Demosisto, co-founded by activist Joshua Wong – was allowed bail by High Court Judge Esther Toh on Tuesday afternoon, Stand News reported.

She appeared calm while her husband – who was in the public gallery – appeared relieved, the news outlet reported. Her bail conditions include refraining from publishing, sharing or forwarding any commentary or committing acts that may endanger national security on any traditional, electronic or public platforms. She will also be barred from running in any official or non-governmental elections, as well as communicating with foreign officials, lawmakers or their staff.

Other conditions for bail include a curfew from midnight to 7 a.m. everyday, surrendering her travel documents, reporting to a police station daily, paying a HK$50,000 cash bond and another HK$50,000 in sureties. She must also reside at her designated home address, Toh said.

15 on bail, 32 in custody

Wong was reunited with her family on Tuesday – winter solstice – a day of family reunion in Chinese tradition.

Wong Ji-yuet. File Photo: via Twitter

The group of 47 democrats in the same case as Wong were charged with taking part in a conspiracy to commit subversion in connection with an unofficial legislative primary election among the pro-democracy bloc held in July last year. They could face up to life imprisonment if convicted by the High Court.

Aside from Wong, so far 15 defendants have been granted bail pending trial. Another defendant, Carol Ng, a former head of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair cabin crew unions, was denied bail following a fresh application on Monday.

(From left to right) Members among the 47 democrats: Henry Wong, Fergus Leung and Gordon Ng being transferred onto a Correctional Services Department vehicle on March 19, 2021. File Photo: Stand News.

The group last appeared in court in late November, when a chief magistrate ordered that they return to court in different batches in February and in March.

Despite over 30 people being held in custody for almost a year, prosecutors sought to delay setting a date for the trial, citing insufficient time to prepare tens of thousands of pages of documents and translations.

Bail applications in national security cases have to go through a stricter assessment. Judges consider not only the defendant’s risk of absconding or obstructing justice, but also whether there are sufficient grounds for believing they “will not continue to commit acts endangering national security.”


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